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An Extensive List of Notable Black/Non-Black
Interracial Couples, 1801-2001
by
Robert Fikes Jr., Librarian
San Diego State University
   

The cold statistics accompanying periodic census reports revealing dramatic increases in the number of interracial marriages may be adequate for the casual reader and the researcher, but statistics do not put a human face on this modern phenomenon.  The list below attempts to do just that in regards to Black/Non-Black unions over the past two centuries.

The left column lists alphabetically the name and occupation of the distinguished Black person.  The right column lists the names of the Caucasian, Asian, or Latino or "significant other" (SO).  The SO designation could mean a common law marriage or a serious relationship of some duration that did not result in marriage.  Generally, the maiden name of the married non-Black partner is given except in several instances.

Absent from the list are some well-known and documented couplings which could not be included here because the name of the non-Black partner has not been established, including civil rights activist Mary Church Terrell whose marriage proposal from a certain German 'Herr baron von D.' she mentions in her autobiography; pioneer filmmaker Oscar Micheaux who decided not to disclose the name of the blond Scottish-American woman he tutored then fell in love with; and Martin Luther King Jr. who was headed toward marriage to a young German-American woman he met while studying at Crozer seminary. 

Notable Black                                                  Non-Black Spouse/Significant Other

 

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, basketball star               Cheryl Pistono (SO)

Ira Aldridge, Shakespearean actor                       Margaret Gill, Amanda Von Brandt

Marcus Allen, football star                                  Kathryn Eickstaedt

Felipe Alou, pro baseball coach                           Lucie Gagnon

Wally 'Famous' Amos, cookie mogul                 Christine Harris

Kofi Annan, UN Secretary General                     Nane Lagergren

Maya Angelou, author-poet                                 Tosh Angelos, Paul du Feu

Little Anthony, pop singer                                  Linda Gourdine

Pearl Bailey, singer-actress                                  Louis Bellson

Imamu Baraka, dramatist-critic-activist                Hettie Cohen

Charles Barclay, basketball star                           Maureen Lynn Blumhardt

Shirley Bassey, pop singer                                   Sergio Novak

Don Baylor, baseball manager                               Rebecca Giles

Jennifer Beals, 'Flashdance' actress                      Alexandre Rockwell

Shari Belafonte, actress                                       Robert Harper, Sam Behrens

Harry Belafonte, actor-singer                               Julie Robinson

Albert Belle, baseball star                                     Stephanie Bugusky (SO)

Billy Blanks, exercise-karate expert                      Gayle Blanks

Allan Boesak, anti-apartheid leader                        Elna Botha

James Boggs, labor activist-scholar                        Grace Lee

Barry Bonds, baseball star                                    Susan 'Sun' Margreth

Julian Bond, civil rights activist                            Pamela Sue Horowitz

Lisa Bonet, actress                                               Brian Kest (SO)

Ed Bradley, CBS newsman                                   Priscilla Coolidge

Carol Moseley-Braun, U.S. Senator                    Michael Braun

Todd Bridges, actor                                              Dori Smith

Lonnie Bristow, doctor-AMA president               Marilyn Hingslage

Edward Brooke, U.S. Senator                              Remigia, Anne Flemming

George Stanford Brown, actor-director                Tyne Daly

Drew 'Bundini' Brown, boxing trainer                Rhoda Palestine

James Brown, pop singer 'King of Soul'              Adrienne Rodriguez

Willie Brown, San Francisco mayor                     Carolyn Carpeneti (SO)

Anatole Broyard, New York Times book reviewer  Alexandra Nelson

Frank Bruno, British boxer                                  Laura Mooney

Kobe Bryant, basketball star                                 Vanessa Laine

Grace Bumbry, opera singer                                 Erwin Jaeckel

Selma Burke, sculptor (Roosevelt dime)                Herman Kobbe

Naiomi Campbell, fashion model                        Flavio Biatore (SO)

Irene Cara, singer-actress                                     Conrad Palmisano

Hazel Carby, Yale professor                                 Michael Denning

Rod Carew, baseball star                                      Marilynn Levy

Mariah Carey, pop singer                                    Tommy Mattola

Diahann Carroll, actress                                     Monte Kay, Freddie Glusman, Vic Damone

Nell Carter, singer-actress                                    Roger LaRocque, George Krynicki

Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter, boxer                        Lisa Peters

Elizabeth Catlett, sculptor                                  Francisco Mara

Barbara Chase-Riboud, novelist-painter            Marc Riboud, Sergio Tosi

Don Cheatle, actor                                               Bridget Coulter

Chubby Checker, pop singer                              Catharina Lodders

Neneh Cherry, pop singer                                   Cameron McVey

Rae Dawn Chong, actress                                   Owen Baylis, C. Thomas Howell

Johnnie Cochran, attorney                                  Patricia Sikora (SO)

Mary Cole, widow of Nat King Cole                    Gary Devore

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, symphony composer    Jessie Fleetwood Waimisley

Sean 'Puffy' Combs, rap music promoter             Jennifer Lopez (SO)

Coolio, rap singer                                               Josefa Salinas

Ward Connerly, conservative activist                    Ilene Crews

Ellis Cose, author-journalist                                 Lee Llambelis

Dorothy Dandridge, actress                                 Jack Denison

Billy Daniels, pop singer                                     Pierrette Daniels

Miles Davis, jazz trumpeter                                  Juliet Greco (SO)

Sammy Davis Jr., pop singer-actor-dancer             Mai Britt

Samuel Delany, science fiction author                   Marilyn Hacker

William Demby, novelist                                    Lucia Drudi

Suzanne de Passe, music/tv executive                   Paul Le Mat

James DePriest, symphony conductor                    Ginette Grenier

Eric Dickerson, football star                                Rea Ann Silva (SO)

Father Divine, religious cult leader                       Edna Rose Hitchings

Dean Dixon, symphony conductor                        Vivian Rifkin

Michael Dorn, 'Star Trek' actor                            Wendy Dorn

Frederick Douglass, abolitionist-activist                Helen Pitts, Ottilie Assing (SO)

Rita Dove, Pulitzer Prize poet                               Fred Viebahn

St. Clair Drake, social anthropologist                    Elizabeth Dewey Johns

W.E.B. Du Bois, social activist-scholar                  Dora Marbach (SO), Amalie Lebenfeldt (SO)

Alexander Dumas, French novelist                        Marie Duplessis (SO), Lola Montez (SO)

Katherine Dunham, choreographer                        John Platt

Marian Wright Edelman, childrens' activist          Peter Edelman

Christopher Edley Jr., Harvard law professor        Tana Pesso

Julius Erving (a.k.a Dr. J), basketball star              Samantha Stevenson (SO)

Mercer Ellington, band leader                               Lena Ellington

Percival Everett, novelist                                     Francesca Rochberg

Frantz Fanon, radical theorist-psychiatrist              Marie-Josephe Duble

James Farmer, civil rights activist                         Lula A. Peterson

Roberta Flack, singer                                          Steven Novosel                                        

Gail Fisher, 'Mannix' actress                                 Joe Levy

Red Foxx, comedian-actor                                     Yun Chi Chung, Kaho Cho

Henry Louis Gates, Harvard professor                    Sharon Lynn Adams

Marvin Gaye, pop singer                                       Eugenie Vis (SO), Deborah Derrick (SO)

Robin Givens, actress                                           Svetozar Marinkovic

Whoopie Goldberg, comedian-actress                    David Claessen, Lyle Trachtenberg

Cuba Gooding Jr., actor                                       Sara Kapfer

Charles Gordone, playwright                                 Jeane Warner

Louis Gossett Jr., actor                                         Christina Mangosing

Lorenz Graham, author                                        Ruth Morris                                        

David Alan Grier, actor                                        Maritza Rivera

Roosevelt Grier, football star-actor                        Margie Hanson

Archibald Grimke, 19th century scholar-activist    Sarah E. Stanley

Bryant Gumbel, TV newsman                                Hillary Quinlan (SO)

Greg Gumbel, TV sports newsman                         Marcy Kaszynski

Herbie Hancock, jazz pianist                                  Gudrun Meixner

Lorraine Hansberry, Pulitzer Prize playwright      Robert B. Nemiroff

Clarence Harmon, mayor of St. Louis                    Janet Kelley

Ollie Harrington, cartoonist                                    Helga Richter

Dorian Harwood, actor                                           Ann McCurry

Franco Harris, football star                                     Dana Dokmanovich

Sally Hemings, slave                                               Thomas Jefferson (SO)

Lloyd Haynes, actor                                                Sandra Haynes

Jimi Hendrix, rock guitarist                                    Monika Dannemann (SO)

Matthew Henson, North Pole explorer                   Akatingwah (SO)

Chester Himes, novelist                                          Leslie Packard

Gregory Hines, dancer-actor                                   Patricia Panella, Pamela Koslow

Lena Horne, pop singer                                           Lenny Hayton

Charlene Hunter-Gault, TV journalist                   Walter Stovall

Iman, fashion model                                                David Bowie

Isaiah Jackson, symphony conductor                      Helen Tuntland

Janet Jackson, pop singer                                        Rene Elizondo

LaToya Jackson, pop singer                                    Jack Gordon

Michael Jackson, pop singer                                   Lisa-Marie Presley, Debbie Rowe

Reggie Jackson, baseball star                                   Jenny Campos

Ahmad Jamal, jazz pianist                                       Laura Hess-Hay

Rick James, pop singer-musician                             Tanya Hijiazi

Al Jarreau, pop singer                                              Susan Phyllis Hall?.

Jack Johnson, boxing champion                              Etta Durea, Lucille Cameron, Irene Pineau

James Earl Jones, actor                                            Julienne Marie, Cecilia Hart

Grace Jones, fashion model-singer                          Jean Paul Goude (SO)

Quincy Jones, composer-arranger                            Ulla Anderson, Peggy Lipton, Nastassja Kinski (SO)      

June Jordan, poet-essayist                                       Michael Meyer

Ernest J. Just, biologist                                            Margaret Boveri (SO), Hedwig Schnetler (SO)

Randall Kennedy, Harvard law professor               Yvedt Matory

Jomo Kenyatta, President of Kenya                         Edna Clarke

Seretse Khama, President of Botswana                    Ruth Williams

Chaka Khan, pop singer                                           Richard Holland

Jamaica Kincaid, writer                                           Allen Shawn

Preston King, American-British professor               Helen Stern

Eartha Kitt, singer-actress                                        William McDonald

Yusef Komunyakaa, Pulitzer Prize poet                  Mandy Jane Sayer

Yaphet Kotto, actor                                                  Rita Dittman, Antoinette Pettyjohn, Tessie Sinahon

Jewell Lafontant, attorney-politician                       Naguib Mankarious

Cleo Laine, pop singer                                             John Duckworth

Andrea Lee, writer                                                   Tom Fallows

Julius Lester, writer-educator                                  Milan Sabatini

David Levering Lewis, Pultizer Prize scholar         Sharon Lynn Siskind

Henry Lewis, symphony conductor                         Marilyn Horne

Reginald F. Lewis, millionaire businessman           Loida Nicolas

Calvin Lockhart, actor                                             Lynn Sloan

Louis Lomax, journalist                                           Robinette Kirk

Davey Lopes, baseball coach                                   Linda Bandover

Glenn Loury, conservative economist                     Linda Datcher

Taj Majal, singer-musician                                      Anna De Leon

Malcom X, Black Muslim leader                             Sophia (SO)

Karl Malone, basketball star                                    May Kenzie

Thurgood Marshall, Supreme Court Justice           Cecilia A. Suyat

Mark Mathabane, South African author                Gail Ernsberger  

Ali Mazrui, African scholar                                     Molly Vickerman

Barbara McNair, actress                                         Rich Manzie, Ben Strahan

Charlie Mingus, jazz saxophonist                            Camilla Gross, Celia Nielson, Susan Ungaro

Claudia Mitchell-Kernan, UCLA administrator     Keith Kernan

Edwin Moses, track star                                            Myrella Bordt

Nichelle Nicols, 'Star Trek' actress                         Gene Roddenberry (SO)

Yannick Noah, French tennis star                            Heather Stewart-Whyte, Cecilia Rhode

Ken Norton Jr., football star                                    Angela Fike

Tony Oliva, baseball star                                         Gordette Oliva

Alan Page, football star-judge                                  Diane Sims

Nell Painter, Princeton U. historian                         Glenn R. Shafer

Charlie Parker, jazz saxophonist                            Chan Richardson (SO)

Gordon Parks, photographer-author                       Genevieve Young

Floyd Patterson, boxer                                            Janet Seaquist

Orlando Patterson, Harvard sociologist                 Nerys Wyn Thomas

Melvin Van Peebles, film director-author                Maria Marx

Pele, Brazilian soccer star                                         Rosemarie Cholby, Assiria Lemos

Clarence Pendleton, conservative bureaucrat          Margrit Krause

Oscar Peterson, jazz musician                                 Sandra King

Pio Pico, last Mexican governor of California         Maria Ignacia Alvarado

Scottie Pippen, basketball star                                 Larsa Younan

Sidney Poitier, actor                                                 Joanna Shimkus

Adam Clayton Powell  Jr., Congressman               Yvette Marjorie Flores

Adam Clayton Powell III, journalist                       Beryl Slocum

Michael Powell, FCC chairman                               Jane Knott

Prince, pop singer                                                     Mayte Garcia

Richard Pryor, comedian-actor                              Jennifer Lee, Shelly Bonus, Maxine Silverman (SO)

Alexander Pushkin, Russian poet                           Natalia Goncarova

Franklin Raines, CEO of Fannie Mae                    Wendy Farrow

Lou Rawls, pop singer                                            Lana Jean

Ishmael Reed, novelist-critic                                  Carla Blank

Ving Rhames, actor                                                Deborah Reed (SO)

Lionel Richie, pop singer                                        Diane Alexander

Doc Rivers, baseball pitcher                                    Kristin Campion

Minnie Ripperton, pop singer                                 Richard Rudolph

Paul Robeson, social activist, singer-actor              Freda Diamond, (SO), Uta Hagen (SO)

Paul Robeson Jr. , journalist-activist                      Marilyn Greenberg

Dennis Rodman, basketball star                             Carmen Electra

J.A. Rogers, self-taught historian                            Helga Beisenthal

Roxy Roker, actress                                                 Sy Kravitz

Diana Ross, pop singer                                            Arne Naess, Robert Silberstein

Richard Roundtree, actor                                       Karen Cernia

Forrest Rouse, physicist                                          Smadar Lavie

Bill Russell, basketball star                                      Didi Catherine Anstett

Sade, British pop singer                                           Carlos Scolan

William Scarborough, Wilberforce U. president    Sarah Bierce

George Schuyler, author                                          Josephine E. Lewis

Leopold Senghor, President of Senegal                  Colette Hubert

Joe Simon, Pop singer                                             Melanee Simon

O.J. Simpson, football star-actor                             Nicole Brown

Naomi Sims, fashion model                                    Michael Findlay

Memphis Slim, blues musician                               Christine Chatman

William Gardner Smith, novelist                          Solange Royez, Ira Rueben

Wesley Snipes, actor                                               Donna Wong (SO)

Claude Steele, Stanford U. psychologist                 Dorothy Munson

Shelby Steele, conservative critic-educator             Rita Steele

Robert Stepto, Yale professor                                 Michele Leiss

William Grant Still, symphony composer              Verna Avery

Carl Stokes, mayor of Cleveland                             Raija Kostadinov

Sly Stone, pop singer                                                Kathy Silva

Woody Strode, athlete-actor                                    Luukialuana Kalaeloa

Donna Summers, pop singer                                    Bruce Sudano

Henry O. Tanner, painter                                        Jessie Olssen

Clarence Thomas, U.S. Supreme Court judge        Virginia Lamp

Debi Thomas, Olympic skater                                  Brian Venden Hogen, Chris Bequette

Frank Thomas, baseball star                                    Elise Silver

Jean Toomer, novelist                                              Margery Latimer, Marjory Content

Tina Turner, pop singer                                           Erwin Bach (SO)

Neil de Grasse Tyson, astronomer                            Alice Mae Young

James Van DerZee, photographer                            Gaynella Katz

Ivan Van Sertima, author-educator                          Maria Nagy

Greg Vaughn, baseball star                                       Michele Vaughn

Ben Vereen, dancer-singer                                        Nancy Brunner

Shirley Verrett, opera singer                                    Louis LoMonaco                        

Derek Walcott, Nobel Prize poet                              Sigrid Nama (SO)

Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize novelist                        Mel Leventhal

Herschel Walker, football star                                  Cindi DeAngelis

Kara Walker, artist                                                   Klaus Burgel

Dianah Washington, pop singer                               Raphael Campos

Charles White, artist                                                 Frances Barrett

Walter F. White, NAACP leader                              Poppy Cannon

John Edgar Wideman, novelist                                Judith Goldman

Roger Wilkins, journalist-educator                           May Meyers

Billy Dee Williams, actor                                          Teruko Kakagami

Rev. Cecil Williams, social activist                          Janice Mirikatani

Deniece Williams, pop singer                                   Brad Westering

Joe Williams, jazz singer                                          Jillean Milne Hughes-D'Aeth

John A. Williams, novelist                                       Lorrain Isaac

Montel Williams, talk show host                             Grace Morley

Vanessa Williams, pop singer-beauty queen           Bruce Hanson (SO)

Fred Williamson, actor-director                              Linda Williamson

Charles V. Willie, Harvard sociologist                    Mary Sue Conklin

Flip Wilson, comedian                                              Tuanchai Davis

William Julius Wilson, Harvard sociologist            Beverly Ann Huebner

August Wilson, playwright                                       Constanza Romero

Lionel Wilson, mayor of Oakland, CA                     Dorothy Wilson

Nancy Wilson, pop singer                                         Julio Ruiz (SO)

Alfre Woodard, actress                                            Roderick Spencer

Tiger Woods, golfer                                                  Joanna Jagoda (SO)

Nathan Wright Jr., Black power scholar                 Carolyn May

Richard Wright, novelist                                         Dhima Rose Meadman, Ellen Poplar

Frank Yerby, novelist                                               Blanca Calle Perez

Max Yergan, Spingarn Medalist-missionary            Lena Halpern

Al Young, writer-editor                                             Arlin Belck

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